While Sony and Microsoft were clearly having a contest to decide whose is bigger, Nintendo opted for a much less glitzy approach to showcase their upcoming wares. Their unconventional attitude actually seemed to work in their favor, since Nintendo appears self-aware of their own absence from the Game of Next-Gen Thrones. The Nintendo Direct broadcast, games debuted at the show, and various cluster announcements were rousing successes and obvious crowd-pleasers.
Nintendo proved once again they know what gamers want – memorable experience with familiar faces. And while that fact will be argued against every year as long as there is an E3, you can’t argue with quality games, which seems to be the Ninty approach after innovation and intrigue didn’t fare as well as they had hoped.
Nintendo’s varied showcase came courting gamers with plenty of surprises: Smash Bros. complete with Mega Man, Wii Fit girl, and the Animal Crossing Villager. Super Mario 3D World brought with it some interesting surprises, and The Wonderful 101 looked to deliver some deliciously quirky gameplay. Incredibly, new Zelda and Donkey Kong games weren’t the show’s bombshells, but still certainly ones to watch out for.
Bayonetta 2 revealed a pixie cut and more stylish action to whet our whistles, and Wind Waker HD was slick and crisp – a great reason to return to one of the franchise’s most endearing chapters. More Mario Kart is always a safe choice, and Nintendo seems to be all too aware of this. The entire showing was all about simple, safe fun, and staying firmly entrenched within familiarity and convention. Aside from Hideki Kamiya’s sizzling Bayonetta 2 reel (and its copius crotch-shots), it was all family friendly.
It’s a departure for sure from the competing Sony and Microsoft shows, and one might argue they’ve jumped ship entirely. That isn’t true, not in the least. There’s a certain consumer out there who will look to both the PS4 and Xbox One and come away utterly confused, and Nintendo will be waiting with open arms to welcome them with familiar characters and tried-and-true gameplay. It’s not the strategy the entire industry may want, but it’ll probably benefit them in the long run. It will be an interesting next few years – how will Nintendo continue to fare? I surmise they’ll still be sitting pretty.